Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware, 1630-1707

By Albert Cook Myers | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

THE preceding narratives have to do with the Dutch and Swedish period. The narratives that follow concern the English period alone. The two groups differ, moreover, in that while the accounts in the first group are mainly official reports addressed to superior authority with no intent of publication, those of the second were contemporaneously put into print, for the most part to attract European immigrants to the shores of the Delaware -- an object which they accomplished with great success.

In the two decades that intervene between the two parts thus defined, the region of the Delaware had experienced some extensions of settlement and had come under the successive control of two great rival powers. During nearly the whole of the first decade the Dutch held sway. Then the English, with their revival of interest in trade and colonization after the Restoration, which resulted in endeavors to deprive the Dutch of their commercial supremacy and of their American opportunities, began war, in 1664, and seized New Netherland. This acquisition supplied the one link hitherto missing in the chain of England's American colonies. The Delaware region, along with the remainder of New Netherland, acquired by the English, was transferred by their king, Charles II., to his brother, James, duke of York.

Of the Duke's tenure and government, of his grants of territory, and of the later sub-grants with their tedious and involved recitals, the essentials for our purpose may be found in the succeeding pages. Let it suffice here to state that the large portion of the English conquest on the east side of the

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